How does CCHS’ garden grow? | News | The Press and Standard

by | June 4, 2016 5:00 pm

Last Updated: June 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm


Why, it grows very well indeed, thanks to Scott Steedley, founder of the International Center for Sustainability (ICS) and Shirley Brown’s special needs class at Colleton County High School. The edible garden has turned into a classroom, providing rich lessons in producing food and income — conveniently located just outside their window.
Started well over a year ago, the project has grown by leaps and, well, vegetables. Steedley, with the help of students and volunteers, created the beds, then transplanted the plants from the hothouse at Thunderbolt Career and Technology Center. Now, the garden is maintained and harvested weekly by Steedley, Brown and her students. According to Brown, it is one of their favorite projects. In fact, she’s based several lessons around the garden; some of which yielded a few snacks for the students along the way.
It is a project close to Steedley’s heart, and one he has turned into a business, helping educate students on sustainable livelihood. “Mrs. Shirley Brown and her students are an awesome group of authentic individuals who consistently demonstrate their willingness to learn and participate in the development of this project,” said Steedley. “They love getting their hands dirty and they don’t hesitate to engage in active learning.”
Steedley’s work is far from done at CCHS, however, and his goals are attainable with the continued support from the community. “Rain barrels and a tool shed, which will be converted to contain a greenhouse, have recently been acquired,” said Steedley. “We would like to allow students access to harvesting the space throughout the summer months by continuing our Wednesday meetings. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have rides to the school. It is our goal to provide summer camps in the future that allow constant involvement in all processes of gardening.”
According to Steedley, ICS Inc. has access to a 40-acre farm less than two miles from downtown Walterboro which he plans to use to continue to educate all ages on sustainability. “We are currently constructing four treehouse wildlife observation units, where visitors, field trips and guided tours will be able to view nature, learn about conservation projects and participate in action learning opportunities. We have defined trail systems throughout the woods and along the creeks, where we where we are developing watershed re-nourishment activities. This project will not only benefit the immediate area, but also tributaries feeding Ireland Creek and the headwaters of the ACE Basin.”
Viewing the farm as an opportunity to highlight permaculture, Steedley hopes the project will serve as a model for sustainability across the state. “We do this through natural building, agroforestry, ecotourism, collaborative partnerships, management of wildlife and resources and community development through public support.”
Steedley is seeking donations for a few more needed items for the garden at CCHS. “We give thanks to Benton’s Feed and Seed and other donors for their enthusiasm and in-kind contributions to make this endeavor a reality.”
To contact Steedley for more information or to contribute to the project, email  centerforsustainability@gmail.com or call 843-509-1296. To learn more about permaculture and sustainability, visit International Center for Sustainability Inc. on Facebook.


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